Bob & Roberta Smith, Do You Want To Get Up Now?

As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I have been spending my time nosing around for interesting design-related goings on each week, so you don’t have to. Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

This week I…

… get stuck into a debate about the typographic nuances of the curly quotation mark with this piece on The Atlantic, which asks: Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes? It points out that online pieces are mostly fans of the straight quote mark, and that’s getting old-school typography lovers pretty riled. Or as writer Glenn Fleishman puts it: “These humble symbols are a dagger in my eye when a straight, or typewriter-style, pair appears in the midst of what is often otherwise typographic beauty.”

Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Handkerchief Chair

… reflect on the passing of Italian designer Lella Vignelli, who died on December 22 2016 at the ripe old age of 82.  Along with her husband Massimo, Vignelli founded Vignelli Associates, and the couple famously created branding for clients including Knoll (they also designed the company’s Handkerchief office chair), the Ford Motor Company, American Airlines and Bloomingdale’s.

Lettering by Jessica Hische

… doff my proverbial cap to designer and lettering artist Jessica Hische, who has created a handy “client email helper” to help people negotiate incoming project terms. Simply choose the type of client you need to respond to and a template to suit your needs is right there. Smart!

British Steel logo

… exercise my sluggish, sugar-coated, post-Christmas brain with Design Week’s 2016 quiz. Naturally, I totally nailed it (sort of). How will you fare? 

Bob & Roberta Smith, Art Is Your Human Right

… congratulate those from the art and design communities who found themselves on this year’s New Year’s Honours List. I’m particularly chuffed to see artist Patrick Brill (better known as Bob & Roberta Smith) and Uzma Johil, co-Founder and director of Threshold Studios make the list. As well as being an all-round top person, Johil is festival director of Lincoln’s Frequency Festival of Digital Culture, a brilliant biannual event that celebrates digital design and art in the most unexpected places. Their commitment to community and socially-minded applications of art is more than worthy of recognition from Her Majesty.

The UK honours system rewards “exceptional achievement or service.” Nominations, are submitted either by government departments or by members of the public and assessed by committees comprising independent experts and senior civil servants, which are submitted to the Queen for approval and nominees accept (or reject, in the case of some) their nomination before the list is formally approved. The honours are published twice a year, at New Year, and in mid-June on the date of the Queen’s official birthday.

… break out the popcorn and sit back to watch the paint wars break out between artists Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor. Back in November, Semple created “the world’s pinkest pink” for use by everyone in the world except for Kapoor, who he describes as “a bit of a rotter really,” what with his claim over the exclusive rights to “the world’s blackest black.” No other artists can use Kapoor’s black in their art. Semple reckons he should be a bit nicer and share it, so in retaliation, his pink is not to be shared with Kapoor either. “I don’t think it’s really very fair! We all remember kids at school who wouldn’t share their colouring pencils, but then they ended up on their own with no friends. It’s cool, Anish can have his black, but the rest of us will be playing with the rainbow!’

It was all going swimmingly until cheeky Kapoor flagrantly ignored the ban, according to a few sources, so Semple has upped the ante with “the world’s glitteriest glitter”, also available to everyone except Kapoor.“I’m working on all sorts, the big thing for me is a full line of powders which will be the brightest in the world. I’ve got them, I’m close, but they need more oomph!” Semple told Dazed. “I’ve got a series of nine super high-grade acrylic paints too—they are really something else—I use them in my paintings so I’m hoping to work them up to a stage where I can open them up for everyone who wants to try them. But more than anything I want to work with that Vantablack, that stuff is the holy grail for me!”

You can get your hands on a few of the colors over on Culturehustle. Unless of course you’re Anish Kapoor.